I may be stuck in the ’40s and ’50s where Bollywood is concerned, but I’m still happily delving into just the past few years’ worth of Pakistani stage mujras (which often use some perverse remix of a very old song anyway)… And talk about eye candy…I can never watch just one! They’re also often hilarious – though some of the dancers are very good, too, I think. (In general, by the way, I’ve concluded that these are much less like murjas in Bollywood movie terms than they are like cabaret dances – as you can probably see…)
P.S. 7/27: A few more thoughts about the dances above (I mention the sources in comments also):
The first mujra, by Deedar, is based on the song “Kanta Laga…” from movie Samadhi (1972). But listening to the remix, I’m picking up a few other things, such as the spoken English part from “I Love You” in Hare Rama Hare Krishna(1971) (I think it’s all from that song), and then there’s that riff from the ‘Mehbooba Mehbooba” in Sholay– that is, from the dance by Helen, who must be a sort of patron saint for this genre of mujras.
As Hema pointed out in comments, Deedar’s dance is like a workout. More often than not, there is this athletic quality about her dancing, as well as her appearance – which is not too common among these mujra dancers, many of whom must be close to twice her weight. I would not say she’s my favorite, but she’s fun to watch sometimes, and she can do a lot of stuff that other people can’t. I like the remix a lot too.
I don’t know who the second dancer is, unless it’s Deedar looking a little different and not moving quite as well. As I mentioned in comments, I mainly included it for the remix of “Ankhiyan Mila Ke,” that great song from Ratan (1944), which I’ve praised and posted a couple of times, and I do think it is much better than the “official” video that goes with the remix (though that’s not saying much). But I’m not crazy about the entire dance… For one thing, I just don’t get much from the “sexy” pinup kind of pose that she does in the beginning – she’s looking a bit too much like she’s trying to get into Playboy. But then when she gets more frenetic, it is entertaining, and her moves are very funny sometimes. I love the part where she holds one foot with her hands and hops on one leg. You see a lot of one-legged kind of stuff in classical Indian-influenced dancing, but I’ve never seen it done in such a funny (and obviously untutored) way.
Her movements aren’t always very fluid, but I think that’s because of the pants. I guess she just doesn’t have the amazing ability that Helen had to move around very freely in extremely tight pants – and tight clothes in general, especially without splitting anything. But maybe Helen was able to get much better tight clothes, which could more easily stand the “tension” (as Barburao would say). Nonetheless, this dancer’s clothing isn’t always a liability for her either (for instance, I must admit that I do kind of like the rotating bum exhibition at the end).
I like the third mujra, for the entire dance. I still haven’t figured out what Noor Jehan song is being sung (by someone else), though YouTube comments have indicated it was from the ’70s. But this one is my favorite from the batch. It’s funny and charming, and I think I like Nargis a bit more than Deedar (who happens to be her sister, by the way). I also have to commend the set designer, as I love all the colors and the flowers, which fully complement Nargis’ feminine charms. (Not a tomboy like Deedar!) I think Nargis is my second favorite of the contemporary Pakistani mujra dancers, surpassed only by Megha – whose dances I’ve posted a few times in the past couple of years, most recently on May 3.
Ah, so that’s what that means!
(Film star Firdous dancing, vocals by Noor.)
(Stage dancer Nargis dancing, vocals by Nooran.)
Noor Jehan is the playback singer. (That would probably be easy to figure out, even if it weren’t written on the clip itself… Maybe after this one, whenever I show a movie clip from Pakistan (which I am finding myself wanting to do with greater frequency), I should mention who the singer is only if it isn’t Noor Jehan.) The dancer/actress is Sabiha Khanum… Music is by Rashid Attre. I like the music and the scene.
I believe this is a song inspired by Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, the Sufi saint from Sindh. That might mean quite a lot to some people. Speaking for myself, I know very little about Sufis and their religion – except that they’ve made a lot of good music.
So here we have a great Sufi song being sung by Noor Jehan (of course), this time as playback singer for Naghma, but also with a brief glimpse of Firdous…
While here the dancing is all by Firdous:
Both from Dilan Dey Souday (Punjabi, 1969).
There are several more clips from this movie around… Every one of them is so good… I hope I’ll be able to find this.
(Music by Khurshid Anwar.)
P.S. 4/19 – I stumbled upon a site that had this movie for free online (actually, a couple of sites did), though without subtitles, and I watched it with only a minimum amount of fast-forwarding through dialogue. In the second clip above, Noor Jehan’s character is blind, and the first clip above takes place shortly after she’s had an operation that cured her blindness. She is very convincing in both phases of this role and very charming, of course.